Five inductees for 2020 to the local Catholic School Hall of Fame were announced by the Catholic Schools Association of Rome.
The third annual induction ceremony, recognizing persons influential in local Catholic schools and the community, will be Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at Teugega Country Club, 6801 Golf Course Road, and will include dinner.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Edible Arrangements, 815 Black River Blvd.; Jervis Library, 613 N. Washington St.; Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, 139 W. Dominick St.; or by contacting Marg Mauer at 315-337-9453 or Sybil Preski at 315-336-5408.
Money raised at the event will be used to enhance and enrich programming at Rome Catholic School, the association said. Funds raised last year were used to purchase new STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, math) kits for classrooms, two new tables for the art room, award a scholarship and sponsor the Rome Catholic Spring Festival.
The induction ceremony “honors our Catholic school heritage and the positive influence these individuals have had on the communities where they reside,” the announcement said. “Keeping a Catholic school in Rome enriches our community and makes Rome more inviting to families.”
The five 2020 inductees, profiled by the association:
• Thomas Barry Jr. (posthumously) —He went to Transfiguration from kindergarten to sixth grade, middle school at St. Mary’s and high school at Rome Catholic High (RCH). After college he coached football and basketball at RCH.
Barry dedicated more than 40 years of service to the Rome sports community as an athlete, coach, mentor, administrator, organizer, role model and volunteer. He was captain of both his football and basketball teams at RCH, and had a combined total of over 25 years of coaching at RCH and Rome Free Academy.
Barry helped organize and run the Rome City Recreation Department’s summer and fall basketball leagues; became part of the Rome Lady Rebels, an AAU basketball program, including serving as board member and president; co-started, with Tim Birnie, the annual Shamrock Shootout girls basketball tournament; served as president of the RFA Girls Basketball Booster Club; served as president of the Michele Adey Fund which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for families of local children suffering from serious illnesses or injuries; raised funds for RCH.
An employee of Niagara Mohawk/National Grid for nearly 40 years, Barry also was a lector at Transfiguration Church, balancing his family, faith, coaching, volunteering, organizing, and his job.
• James P. Boyer — A 1984 graduate of RCH where he participated in both football and baseball, Boyer also went to school at St. Mary’s, St. Peter’s, Transfiguration, and Rome Catholic Junior High School. He later coached at RCH.
A member of the Rome Police Department, Boyer has served as a police officer for nearly 30 years and is proud of his service to the community.
Boyer is married to Cathleen M. (Malone) Boyer and has two daughters, Kelly C. Boyer, 18, who was RFA Class of 2019 valedictorian and is a political science major at Siena College, and Katelyn R. Boyer, 14, a member of the RFA Class of 2023. He said “my family has had to live with a police officer husband/father.
I know that this can’t be easy. Many times I have failed, but they are what I am most proud of.”
Boyer also recognized his parents, William E. Boyer (deceased) and Bridget Boyer, noting “as children we don’t always realize the sacrifices that parents make in order to raise five children and send all of them to Catholic schools.” He added he is “very thankful for the relationships that I have made as a member of this special community and is “especially grateful to have the chance to speak with Tom Barry shortly before his death.”
• Sister Virginia Marie Dunn (posthumously) — As a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), she “was a forerunner in ministries and innovative endeavors related to Catholic education” the association said.
Dunn’s “expertise, skill, wisdom and insight made her an invaluable and well-respected teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, member on local school boards and on international planning committees.”
Among her positions were principal at St. Thomas School in Delmar in 1964, followed in 1965 and later in 1990 with two more assignments as principal in Holy Names Academies in Albany; superintendent of schools for the St. Petersburg Diocese; and her last official ministry, as coordinator of liturgy at Annunciation parish in Washington, DC.
Dunn’s “many gifts, faith formation and academic excellence were nurtured within a loving family and were supported by the faith communities and Catholic education at St. Mary’s School and the Academy of the Holy Names.” Her “compassion and faith, love and dedication, kindness and joy touched the lives of countless students, parents, colleagues and women in her religious community.”
• Joan Lamb — Born and raised in Rome, she had 13 years of Catholic education beginning at Transfiguration School and finishing at RCH.
Previously a manager at Ponderosa Steak House and former owner/operator of Coalyard Charlie’s restaurant, Lamb also was employed by the federal Social Security Administration for over 32 years. Her positions there included claims specialist, technical expert, project manager of field services for upstate New York, deputy area director of upstate New York and district manager of the greater Utica, Rome and Herkimer area.
A member of St. Mary’s/St. Peter’s parish and a Parish Council member, Lamb has been involved with the religious education program in the parish for 25 years. Also a member of the Whitestown Planning Board, Lamb additionally is the RCH Class of ’74 Reunion chairwoman and has planned class reunions every five years.
• Marion F. Waite — Her education in a Catholic school began when her family moved to Rome in November of her freshman year.
Waite had attended four grammar schools before entering St. Aloysius Academy (SAA).There, she joined Sodality, the choir, was a cheerleader, and served as vice president of her class in her junior and senior years. After graduation, she continued her Catholic education at St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing. She studied at Babies Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian in New York City.
Waite was employed at Rome City Memorial Hospital from 1952 to 1987 in various positions, including intensive care, post-operative care unit, and many other on-floor positions.
The recipient of the Immaculata Diocesan Award given by the Bishop to persons very active in their parishes, Waite is active in the Twigs program, St. Mary’s/St. Peter’s Altar Rosary Society, and In Mission of the Christ Child. She is also a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Associate Program.